Best Practices For Taking Deposits

Some companies require a deposit from their clients when their clients are requesting services, or require them for clients who need multiple events (for example, vacations or week-long work trips). In this article, we'll discuss how to do this in Time To Pet.

Requiring A Payment Method On File

While it's not possible to require a deposit when a client is booking a service, it is possible to require a payment method on file before a client can request services. The "Require Credit Card to Request Services" setting is located in the Scheduling section in Settings > Client Settings > Portal Settings:

Deposits - Setting for Require Credit Card to Request Services set to

The Client Invoice Message And Invoice Note

We recommend adding a note about your company's deposit policy to your Client Invoice Message email in Settings > Company Settings > Messaging and to your default Invoice Note in Settings > Invoicing & Payments > Invoice Settings. It's also possible to add a custom message on the Service Request Form in both the portal and the app, this setting is the "Portal & App - Service Request Form" in Settings > Company Settings > Messaging.

Partial Payments In The Client App

When making a payment via the Client App, pet parents have the ability to edit the amount they would like to pay. From here, they can select a percentage of the total amount or a flat dollar amount. For example - your client can submit a payment for 50% of the total amount due or a payment of $100 on their $300 invoice.

Adjusting The Invoice For Partial Payment

Here, we'll show an example of how this process would work in Time To Pet. In this example, the company's policy is 50% of the total invoice is due the day services are requested, and the balance is due the day services start. 

Steve Jones has requested dog walks on May 20th for the week of June 1st-5th. We're processing the request on May 20th, and according to the company's deposit policy, 50% is due on May 20th, and the balance is due on June 1st, the day services start. Just as a reminder, we have a help article on Pending Requests which goes over processing requests.

Here is the original request from the client: 

Deposits - Sample Pending Request

This is the approval screen after the request has been processed. Click on the "Invoice" button with the calendar to pull up this service order: 

Deposits - Sample Approved Request

The service order is now showing on the screen. Click on the invoice number to open the invoice: 

Deposits - Sample Service Order

The Edit Invoice screen is open, and it's now possible to change the date of the invoice, the due date of the invoice, and then email the invoice to the client for payment. Here, we've changed the invoice due date to May 20th so the invoice will show that it is due on the client's end. After changing the due date, click "Email" to email the invoice to the client: 

Deposits - Invoice Edit Screen

This is what the client will see in the Invoices tab of their Portal. The client will first need to click "Make A Payment", and then they can edit the payment to 50% of the invoice and follow the steps to submit their payment: 

Deposits - Client Making Partial Payment In Portal

Now that the client has paid their 50% deposit, we'll go ahead and change the invoice due date to June 1st since the company policy is 50% due at the time the request is made, and the balance is due the day services start, June 1st:

Deposits - Sample Invoice

Here is the final result. The client has made a partial payment (50% deposit), and we have changed the due date to Jun 1st, the day services are set to begin for this client: 

Deposits - Sample Client Profile Showing Partially Paid Invoice

While the client can pay the balance on their invoice at any time, the invoice shows that it is due on June 1st. 

Creating An Open Payment On A Client's Account

If a client hasn't requested any services or you don't have an open invoice on their account for them to make a partial payment on, you can instead charge the client's card or bank account directly and create an open payment on their account in the amount of the deposit you want to collect so that those funds can then be applied to a future invoice.

To add an open payment on a client's account, you will want to complete the following steps:

  1. Navigate to the client's profile and click on (view) next to Balance, under the client's name:

    screenshot of client profile with red arrow pointing to balance

  2. In the Balance Sheet, click on the "Create Open Payment" button in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen:

    screenshot of client's balance sheet with an arrow pointing at the create open payment button

  3. Follow the instructions on the next screen. 

    If you have integrated with one of our payment processors here in Time To Pet, your screen will look like this:

    screenshot of the create open payment popup if you are connected to one of our accepted payment processors

    You can add the Open Payment by charging the client's saved payment method or by logging an external payment that was collected outside of Time To Pet. If you have not integrated with one of our payment processors here in Time To Pet, you will only have the option to manually add a payment:

    screenshot of the create open payment popup if you're not connected to one of our accepted payment processors

  4. After entering the payment details in the previous step, an Open Payment has been added to the client's account that can be used for future invoices.

    screenshot of balance sheet with a box around the open payment amount and another box around the payment itself with an open status

  5. When the client has an open invoice where an open payment can be applied, Time To Pet will remind you in several places. Here is our help doc on How To Apply An Open Payment as well.
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